Ryan Fitzpatrick's 91.2 Total QBR is the fifth-highest in a team's season opener in the NFL since 2008.
Week 1 of the NFL season concludes with two games on Monday Night Football – New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (7 ET) and Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (10:15 ET). Let’s take a look back at the best and worst Total QBR numbers, so far, from this weekend.
As a reminder, Total QBR is a quarterback rating that takes into account all of a QB’s contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team’s scoring and winning and summarizes them into one number on a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average.
Highest Total QBR in Team’s Season Opener Minimum 20 Plays, Since 2008
We begin with the best -- the Buffalo Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick (91.2 Total QBR). Fitzpatrick had a very efficient day in the Bills’ 41-7 blowout victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, going 17-25 with four touchdowns and no turnovers (he did fumble once, but recovered it himself). Thirteen of his 17 completions went for first downs, over two-thirds of his passing yards (139 of 208) came in the air, and the Bills went 4-5 on scoring TD in the red zone.
Fitzpatrick finished with an excellent Total QBR of 91.2, his third-highest in a single game since 2008 (min. 20 plays). It was also the highest in the NFL thus far in Week 1 (barely edging out Aaron Rodgers’ 91.1), and the fifth-highest in a season opener since 2008.
On the other end is Indianapolis Colts QB Kerry Collins (2.3 Total QBR). In his first start for the Colts in place of the injured Peyton Manning, Collins recorded the lowest Total QBR of the week with an abysmal 2.3. Interestingly, he had an 82.3 NFL passer rating -- almost exactly at last season’s NFL average passer rating (82.2), and higher than that of his opposing QB in Week 1, Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans (78.5 NFL passer rating).
Here are a couple reasons why Total QBR is the more complete and accurate representation of Collins’ performance:AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Kerry Collins had a 2.3 Total QB in his first start for the Colts as Peyton Manning's replacement.
• Collins took three sacks for 25 yards, which are negative plays for his team. Total QBR takes sacks into account; NFL passer rating does not.
• Collins fumbled three times (losing two), including twice on consecutive offensive plays (one sack, one mishandled snap) when the game was still close early in the first quarter. Both of those fumbles gave Houston possession inside the Indianapolis 20-yardline. Total QBR takes into account these major negative plays; NFL passer rating does not factor in fumbles.
• When the game was still within reason in the first quarter and early second, Kerry Collins went 5-for-5, but for only 34 yards. Only one of those completions resulted in a first down. When the game was out of hand (Colts down by 24 or more points), Collins threw for 163 of his 197 total yards and nine first downs (including his one TD) -- essentially meaningless outcomes. NFL passer rating counts each of those attempts as the same; Total QBR takes into account the time and score on each play to gauge how important it was to deciding the game’s outcome and weighs it accordingly.
By looking at Collins’ overall performance in the context of the game, Total QBR accurately penalizes Collins for hurting the Colts early on when the game was still close. Even though NFL passer rating shows differently, Collins did MUCH less to help his team than Schaub did, and Total QBR accurately gauges that (Schaub finished with a Total QBR of 71.0 for the game).
(For exclusive video, stories and blogs about quarterbacks from every level of competition, check out ESPN's "Year of the Quarterback" page.)